Today I want to give a quick tour of the greenhouse to show what’s growing in there in early April. With the weather here moderating a bit, I have started moving a few of the over-wintered herbs outside. That makes it a bit easier to navigate in there. I keep containers of mint, oregano and bay laurel in there to give them protection in winter, plus they give us a bit of fresh herbs. I’ve also potted up the sprouts of lemongrass and they are still inside the greenhouse until it’s warm enough to set them out in the ground. You can see in the below photo it’s a busy place this time of year!
I have about twenty kale plants in the beds that have kept us well supplied with leaves all winter, and are now beginning to flower and give us kale rapini. The Groninger Blue Collard-Kale has gotten quite tall, and one plant is touching the shelving which is a good five feet off the ground.
I’m growing Winterbor curly kale, and it is flowering too. It is my favorite of the curly types for growing in the greenhouse since it gets a bit taller than some and gives us a few more leaves. It also make a lot of rapini, which is an added bonus.
Western Front and True Siberian are fairly tall varieties that also do quite well in our winter greenhouse.
The last kale variety I have growing in the greenhouse is White Russian. I also grow this one out in the open garden, and it is one of my favorites for flavor. It appears like it will be the last one to make rapini. That works out well because the other varieties are keeping us well supplied at the moment.
Kale is a biennial, so it grows leaves the first year and then flowers the second. After living through the winter this kale is doing what comes naturally and trying to flower. The rapini are tender and cook up much like broccoli, and have a mild taste. This is always a seasonal treat for us, and I did a short video to show how they grow. Of course you can harvest it with a knife but that was more than I could manage with one hand, so I just snapped them off with my free hand while holding the camera in the other.
The purple sprouting broccoli plants are about done producing. I set out plants of Rudolph, Santee and Burgundy last fall and they have kept us well supplied the last couple of months. I will pull the plants soon to make room for cucumber that I will grow in the summer greenhouse.
In order to give us some early zucchini, I have a couple of plants I set out in grow bags. I am growing the Astia variety which is compact and does well in containers. I will thin to one seedling per grow bag here soon, and I will set these bags outdoors once the danger of frost is over. They have taken off in the warm conditions of the greenhouse and should begin fruiting in early to mid May.
I have lots of lettuce seedlings I recently set out in containers and the salad boxes. I have harvested lettuce for the last couple of months and replanted as I freed up a container., so it’s mostly new plants at the moment. Lettuce and other salad greens do quite well in the shallow salad boxes though they do require frequent watering. I have plans showing how I make the salad boxes in case anyone is interested.
In other containers I have the Profusion sorrel, green garlic and I’itoi onions growing. I have been harvesting from all three of them lately.
Green garlic does especially well in containers. I usually use cloves that have already begun to sprout, and they take off quickly. Green garlic is usable at all sizes and adds a mild garlic taste to many dishes. It also can be added to pesto and other sauces.
I use flower box planters for quite a few different things like the green garlic, lettuce, onions and smaller greens. I’ve got cilantro growing in one right now, and this herb does quite well in containers. The planters last for many seasons, and the one with cilantro is easily 10 years old.
I have started to move seedlings out to the greenhouse from my indoor light garden. So far I have moved ones that don’t mind a bit of cold, while I have left warm season vegetables like peppers, eggplant and tomatoes inside. I have the kohlrabi seedlings in a 72 cell plug tray. They should be ready for planting in a week or so once I get a spot in the garden worked up for them.
I also have other brassicas as well as parsley seedlings out there enjoying the sunshine. I potted up the petunias into their own 3.5 inch pots, and they have really grown out in the greenhouse.
As you can see I am keeping the new greenhouse quite well utilized and full of growing things. I hope you have enjoyed this tour of the greenhouse here in April. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!